Often times in the National Hockey League the players on the ice use fights to settle their differences.
Whatever the beef between two players may be once the gloves have been dropped and fists have been thrown that often marks the end of the conflict between a pair of players, or sometimes even a pair of NHL organizations, but that is not always the case. On Saturday night we got an example of a fight that I believe has likely sparked a conflict between the two men who were involved.
The Edmonton Oilers were in New York on Saturday to take on the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center and unsurprisingly it turned out to be a rough night for the boys from Alberta. The Oilers, widely regarded as one of the worst teams in the NHL this season and certainly one of the most dysfunctional, were heavy underdogs coming into this one against an Islanders team that has looked like a serious Stanley Cup Contender under the leadership of head coach Barry Trotz.
Unsurprisingly the Islanders got out to an early 2 - 0 lead over the Oilers and it was around that time that you could really feel tensions begin to rise in the game as the frustration began to seep out of the Oilers players on the ice. It all came to a head with just roughly 3 minutes left in the game's second period when Edmonton Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse made it a point to go after New York Islanders star forward Anders Lee. Nurse delivered several stiff crosschecks to the back of Lee while battling down low and that eventually resulted in Lee responding with a cross check of his own. However as Nurse worked the back and legs of Lee with his stick, Lee's own stick came up high and quite blatantly caught Nurse up in the face sending the tough Oilers defenseman down to the ice.
Nurse had seen enough and immediately went after Lee which eventually resulted in the two men dropping the gloves. Nurse appeared to land the best punch of the fight, and one of the only ones to be honest, but when the officials came to break the two men up Lee saw an opening and began to rain uppercuts onto the face and head of Nurse. Nurse, who was being held by an official while eating those uppercuts, was clearly furious after the fact and his reaction tells me that this one may be far from over.